Traditional cultures depend largely on the geographical features of the country occupied and the resources available to the people living there. According to Jenness, the aboriginal peoples of Canada inhabited seven natural cultural areas, three of which are in British Columbia.
The Pacific Coast: the boundaries of this zone are delimited by the heads of streams in which salmon spawn.
The Cordillera or Plateaus: this zone occurs where precipitation is less and altitude makes conditions cooler. The numerous rivers leading inland cause some overlapping with the Pacific Coast zone. This is particularly true in areas like Lillooet and as far north as Quesnel where the lakes that feed the Northern Fraser system allow salmon to penetrate and spawn.
The Mackenzie and Yukon River Basins: The Peace River area lies in the first, but the peculiarity of the Peace River again causes over-lapping. The twin Rivers, the Parsnip River and the Finlay, joined to form the Peace and are the only ones rising west of the Rocky Mountains and finding their eventual mouth in the Arctic. This phenomenon explains why the “tribes” of these areas have penetrated so far north and south in what one expects to be mountain areas. Again the accident of a short easy portage in the region of Summit Lake north of Prince George allowed the Peace-Mackenzie culture to spill over and flow far south into the Caribou Plateau country.
Due to our geographic location we are most concerned with the Mackenzie-Yukon area which supports a relatively scanty population and a more primitive culture among the Indian people. Since the region was rich in furs, and in the southern part — the Peace River Area — suitable for the kind of agriculture that “mines” the land and displaces the native population, the present condition of the native people is in a great degree the white man’s fault. In some respects the white man has been one of the most deadly predators on a culture that had reached a state well suited to the philosophy of a nomadic, meat-eating, self-sufficient and friendly, tolerant people. Their never-ending search for the food they preferred, first the bison and later the moose, caused some whites to say that our Indians were “somewhat narrow and material in outlook.” Yet no tribes were less interested in possessions as such, or more “socialistic” in their sharing of tools and proceeds of the hunt with all in the band.